Prizefighter Alexandra Palace - Ringside Report
By Iain Dolan at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (May 9, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
On Saturday night, big punching Mike Perez needed less than five rounds to become the International Heavyweight Prizefighter champion at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night. Squaring off against the huge Canadian/American Tye Fields (19st 5lbs) in the final, Perez (16st 6lbs) came flying out of the blocks and swarmed all over his opponent from the off. Fighting out of a southpaw stance, Perez wobbled Fields with a looping lead right after only 30 seconds. Mike scented victory and poured on the punches, missing with most but landed two big hooks from each hand as Tye wilted under the onslaught. With nothing being returned from Fields the referee had no choice but to step in and save him from further punishment.

Perez was born and raised in Cuba but is now fighting out of Cork, Ireland and has a solid amateur pedigree. Because of his speed and physique there will be inevitable comparisons with Mike Tyson but his right hook is very wide and looping and there isn't Tyson's head movement. This said, he's fast, hits hard and the heavyweight division isn't exactly famed for it's strength in depth currently. If Perez stays in shape and has the desire, he could make a bit of a splash .

Perez was just as quick in dispatching his semi-final opponent, Gregory Toney (16st 12lbs) from France. Starting the fight as 10-1 on favourite, Perez floored Toney with one of his looping right hooks after only 15 seconds. Gregory immediately gave out distress signals about his left shoulder despite not falling particularly hard or awkwardly. Toney went down twice more from solid shots and failed to rise the third time, intimating that his shoulder had gone. I would never to be so disingenuous to make any connections between “didn't really fancy it” and “French” but the ending did seem a bit unsatisfactory.

Fields earned his spot in the final with a first round stoppage of his own, dropping Germany's Konstantin Airich (16st 4lbs) for the full count with a vicious body shot. Airich started well and landed a left hook on Tye's jaw before “Big Sky” smashed a huge left hook into the German's ribcage. Konstantin never looked like getting up and was in obvious pain for some time afterwards also. There were no question marks over this stoppage however.

Perez was in action in the first quarter final of the night and extended by Trinidad's Kersten Manswell (18st). Mike scored a knockdown in the first but despite being comfortably beaten, Manswell had the survival instincts to last the full three rounds. With a bit more composure, and if he'd thrown his right hand a bit straighter, Perez could have made it three stoppages out of three but he can still be satisfied with his night's work and a 30-25 decision from all three judges.

Greg Toney looked very fortunate to progress to the semi final against another man mountain in the shape of Russia's Evgeny Orlov (a whopping 22st). Orlov, sporting more than one spare tyre, was the aggressor throughout and landed with comfortably more shots in what was a scrappy affair. However, a split decision was given to Toney with one judge inexplicably scoring 30-27 for the Frenchman. A shame because the lumbering Orlov had endeared himself to the crowd and would almost certainly have put up a better showing in the Semi Final.

Britain's Michael Sprott (17st) finished with a flurry against the huge Tye Fields but didn't do enough to progress after two lacklustre rounds. Fields was the busier fighter for the first six minutes and deserved the decision despite Sprott's late show. Frustrating for the home fans as Sprott clearly had the skills to do well on the night if only he'd woken up earlier. It was a split decision but Sprott had not done enough.

The last quarter final saw Romania's Lucien Bot (15st 10) pitted against Konstantin Airich. Instantly noticeable was the good conditioning of both fighters, each sporting a six-pack glaringly absent from the rest of the line up. It was a good contest with plenty of action, Bot touched town momentarily in the opening round which left him with a mountain to climb on the cards. The pair exchanged freely but Airich never looked like surrendering his early advantage and earned a unanimous decision.

Among the ringside observers were welter prospect Kell Brook and Darts legend Phil “The Power” Taylor who was given a warm welcome by the crowd at the home of so many of his triumphs. Also in the crowd were Jimmy and Luke Taylor, all the way from Australia, looking for a new sport to enjoy after the humbling ashes defeat. One fight fan who was unable to be present was Jason “Two Dinners” McCready, one time average rugby player and undisputed heavyweight champion of his own fantasies. Currently residing in New Delhi and without access to the live action he is having to rely on trusty Doghouse for his boxing news.

All in all, another successful night for Matchroom. The crowd was a good size and lively despite the British fighter falling at the first hurdle. Heavyweights are always a bit hit and miss for Prizefighter, but the Hearns succeeded in keeping things interesting with the international flavour of this event. The next one is at a lighter weight and back at York Hall on June 7th.
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